Our CEO Confidence Index Q1 2023 reveals that three leadership mindsets have emerged as Australian SME CEOs face an uncertain economic environment. Focused and steadfast, sharp and shifting, or going for growth are the three distinct approaches for the year ahead.
Responses were gathered from 146 of our SME CEOs from a diverse range of industries about their current levels of confidence in the economy. Some key take-aways were:
- Our first group of SME CEOs are readying their ships for the high seas ahead, making small adjustments to keep fixed investment expenditure the same and remain focused on their end goal.
- Taking into consideration the uncertainty ahead, our second group of CEOs and business leaders are diversifying business operations creating new revenue streams to keep profit flowing.
- For our last group of CEOs, they’re pushing full steam ahead, so they reach their target destination. They believe now is the time to re-emerge from the pandemic with a refreshed and strategic approach to their business plan. They’re innovating products and services, and increasing prices, to ensure they stay ahead in the next 12 months.
The results are summarised below.
About the CEO Confidence Index
The Executive Connection CEO Confidence Index is a survey measuring the economic outlook and sentiment of Australian and New Zealand business leaders of Mid-market organisations. The survey measures the following indexes:
- Views about economic conditions compared to a year ago
- Expectations for economic conditions in the year ahead
- Business expectations for the next 12 months on:
− Fixed capital expenditure
− Sales revenues
− Prices for their products and services
− Total headcount
The survey also identifies the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders including business operations, leadership, talent and technology. Members are CEOs and business leaders of businesses with up to 200 employees and annual revenue of between $2 million and $100+ million per year. The results provide insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by leaders and their confidence in the Australian and New Zealand business environment as well as insights into key issues such as political leadership, access to funding and market conditions.